If you recognize the importance of keeping an estate plan up to date, you are well on your way to ensuring that after you pass, your plan is going to work the way that you intended it to. Circumstances change over time, and what you wanted when you originally drafted your documents may no longer hold true. Choosing the right attorney to draft an update to your estate plan is crucial to its success.
Why Choosing the Right Attorney Matters
Why should you be so concerned about who is drafting your estate planning update? Following are just a few of the many reasons:
- Estate planning is a unique and highly complex area of the law that is ideally learned in practice under the guidance of more senior professionals. Attorneys are not necessarily taught much about how to create an estate plan while in law school. For example, some students at UC Irvine’s School of Law take an introductory class on wills and trusts. However, the course is not necessarily comprehensive enough to address sophisticated estate planning techniques. This knowledge comes from focusing a practice in this field over a substantial period.
- The laws are always changing. If you choose an attorney whose primary practice area is something other than estate planning, he may not be up to date on recent changes. This lack of awareness could potentially have harmful results on your estate plan.
- Estate planning is personal. Just as most people prefer to choose a doctor with whom they feel comfortable, finding an attorney whom you find it easy to communicate with can improve the success of your estate plan. When it comes time to update your estate plan, you are more likely to contact your attorney and make the necessary steps when you feel comfortable doing so.
- Modifying an estate plan can have substantial implications when it comes to taxes. Choosing an attorney who fully understands the tax consequences of estate planning modifications can help you to avoid tax issues.
- Responsiveness is crucial to when you are working on plan modifications—especially under urgent circumstances. Some lawyers are better than others are when it comes to returning phone calls, emails, and other messages in a prompt manner. It is important to find an attorney who answers your requests within a reasonable timeframe.
It is our hope that this information helps you choose the best attorney for your estate planning needs. At the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, we satisfy all of the above criteria and can help you update your estate plan in a compassionate, efficient, and effective manner. Contact us today to learn more.